Sunday, 4 August 2019

Hypocrisy by Tory MP over Mental Health

I discovered that hypocrisy had reached new levels when I read Richmond MP Rishi Sunak's piece on mental health in the Darlington & Stockton Times (26/7/19).

Mr Sunak wrote about the importance of prevention in mental health. This from an MP whose party has overseen a rise in mental health problems as a direct result of the policies they have introduced. Since the introduction of Universal Credit, claimants' suicides have doubled and claimant sanctions have rocketed.

More than one million welfare benefit sanctions have been imposed against disabled people since 2010. Over 32,000 claimants have been issued with sanctions longer than six months since 2012. Two-thirds of these were on the government’s hated Universal Credit (UC).

The Scottish Association for Mental Health in their report “It Was A Confusion” finds that Universal Credit is not working for people with mental health problems. they find that:

"Far from simplifying the UK’s social security system the introduction of Universal Credit has added to the complexities faced by people with mental health problems. This is causing hardship and emotional distress to people attempting to engage with the system. We found problems across the Universal Credit journey, from applying for the benefit to being assessed, the conditionality regime and managing a claim. Below are some of our main findings."

At the same time 57% of Clinical Commissioning Groups planned to reduce their spending on mental health services, despite Government claims to the contrary.

This Conservative Government, of whom Mr Sunak is now a prominent member, is forcing more and more people into poverty and depression. The Trussell Trust alone gave out 1.6 million food parcels in 2018-19, a rise of 19% in just one year.

Clearly, Mr Sunak has taken economy with the Truth to shameless new heights!